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Essays on Productive Efficiency, Shadow Prices, and Human Capital
Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Economics.
2004 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)Alternative title
Analyser av produktionseffektivitet, skuggpriser, och humankapital (Swedish)
Abstract [en]

This thesis consists of five papers, four of them basically concerning environmental issues, while the fifth paper addresses the issue of measuring output from the educational sector.

The first paper starts from the fact that industrial activity causes environmental damage. Therefore, public authorities are called upon to regulate the behavior of producers by, e.g., legislating maximally allowed emission levels, which give rise to abatement costs. In this paper, marginal abatement costs (MACs) are estimated and a procedure to empirically analyze why MACs may vary between producers is suggested. The main focus is on whether the MACs in the Swedish pulp industry reveal that differences between counties in, e.g., economical characteristics, were influential when the authority, during 1983-1990, restricted 12 geographically scattered plants regarding emissions. The result indicates that county differences were influential.

The second paper analyses and suggests a procedure for testing the Porter hypothesis. Part of this hypothesis is based on the argument that increased environmental stringency not only brings a cleaner environment, but also makes the polluting producers aware of the opportunity of using resources more efficiently. The particular test suggested considers whether there is a positive correlation between producers’ technical output efficiency and environmental stringency, approximated by a regulatory intensity index. It is empirically applied on 12 Swedish pulp plants during 1983-1990. No support for the Porter hypothesis is found in this particular case.

The third paper deals with the climate policy issue. Under the Kyoto Protocol, the European Union agreed to reduce its emission of greenhouse gases by 8 percent in comparison with the level in 1990. The Burden-Sharing Agreement (BSA) further redistributes the 8 percent reduction target among the member states. This paper evaluates the BSA both from an economical and a political perspective, i.e., whether cost-efficiency and equity, respectively, were considered when the BSA was settled. The empirical result indicates that both efficiency and equity were considered as important to the BSA.

The fourth paper evaluates the Swedish Producer Responsibility Ordinance (PRO), fully implemented in 1994, which states that sorted out, domestically collected waste paper, must be recycled by the paper industry and, therefore, cannot be incinerated by the heating industry in purpose of recovering energy. The result indicates that this policy has contributed to inefficient waste paper allocation among some of the paper producers. The result further indicates that the priority made by the PRO, i.e., that waste paper recycling is preferable to incineration, should be reconsidered.

The fifth paper relates the empirical attempts of measuring output from the educational sector to theoretical results about the welfare significance of a comprehensive Net National Product (NNP) measure. It is shown that economic theory provides a more focused way of interpreting such output estimates. The paper also contains estimates of the output from the Swedish educational sector. Among the results, it is shown that the private gross output value produced by higher education is approximately 2 percent of GDP. Furthermore, the private rate of return on investments in higher education in Sweden is calculated to 8.6 percent.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Umeå: Umeå universitet , 2004. , 150 p.
Series
Umeå economic studies, ISSN 0348-1018 ; 621
Keyword [en]
Economics, directional output distance function, Porter hypothesis, Burden-Sharing Agreement, Producer Responsibility Ordinance, Output of the educational sector
Keyword [sv]
Nationalekonomi
National Category
Economics
Research subject
Economics
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-201ISBN: 91-7305-597-2 (print)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:umu-201DiVA: diva2:142629
Distributor:
Nationalekonomi, 90187, Umeå
Public defence
2004-03-16, S205h, Samhällsvetarhuset, Umeå universitet, Umeå, 10:00 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2004-02-25 Created: 2004-02-25 Last updated: 2009-08-11Bibliographically approved
List of papers
1. Analyzing Interplant Marginal Abatement Cost Differences: A Directional Output Distance Function Approach
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Analyzing Interplant Marginal Abatement Cost Differences: A Directional Output Distance Function Approach
2003 (English)Report (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

The purpose of this paper is to compute and evaluate producers’ marginal abatement costs (MACs). These costs are obtained by calculating shadow prices of bad outputs from the production technology, which is represented by the estimated directional output distance function. To be more specific, this paper considers the Swedish pulp industry when the regulatory authority has granted each producing plant a maximally allowed emission level. In each case, area residents and other parties concerned have been allowed to express their views, which possibly prepared the way for other factors than prescribed by environmental law, to influence the stringency of the finally allowed emission levels and, therefore, the MACs. The main focus is on whether the calculated MACs reveal that differences between counties in, e.g., economical characteristics, were influential when the authority, during 1983-1990, restricted 12 geographically scattered pulp plants regarding emissions. The result indicates that the MACs vary between many of the plants and that county differences were taken into account when imposing environmental restrictions on the plants.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Umeå: Umeå universitet, 2003. 36 p.
Series
Umeå economic studies, ISSN 0348-1018 ; 618
National Category
Economics
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-3761 (URN)
Distributor:
Nationalekonomi, 90187, Umeå
Available from: 2004-02-25 Created: 2004-02-25 Last updated: 2009-08-11Bibliographically approved
2. Environmental Regulation and Firm Efficiency: Studying the Porter Hypothesis using a Directional Output Distance Function
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Environmental Regulation and Firm Efficiency: Studying the Porter Hypothesis using a Directional Output Distance Function
2003 (English)Report (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

The purpose of this paper is to suggest a procedure to empirically test the Porter hypothesis. This hypothesis argues that environmental regulation not only increases environmental quality, but also brings the polluting producers information that makes them more resource efficient, as well as able to develop new technologies. Specifically, the hypothesis tested is whether there is a positive significant correlation between producers’ technical output efficiency and environmental regulation. Efficiency is first estimated using a methodology where the production technology is represented by a directional output distance function, which credits a simultaneous expansion of market goods and contraction of emissions. Then, by regressing the obtained efficiency scores on an index that approximates environmental regulatory intensity, the Porter hypothesis is explicitly tested. The test procedure is applied on 12 Swedish pulp plants during 1983-1990. The result shows no support for the Porter hypothesis.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Umeå: Umeå universitet, 2003. 20 p.
Series
Umeå economic studies, ISSN 0348-1018 ; 619
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-3762 (URN)
Distributor:
Nationalekonomi, 90187, Umeå
Available from: 2004-02-25 Created: 2004-02-25 Last updated: 2009-11-19Bibliographically approved
3. What is Driving the EU Burden-Sharing Agreement: Efficiency or Equity?
Open this publication in new window or tab >>What is Driving the EU Burden-Sharing Agreement: Efficiency or Equity?
2003 (English)Report (Other (popular science, discussion, etc.))
Abstract [en]

Under the Kyoto Protocol the European Union (EU) agreed to reduce the emissions of greenhouse gases by 8 percent in comparison with the level in 1990. The Burden-Sharing Agreement (BSA) further redistributes the overall 8 percent reduction target among the EU Member States. The purpose of this paper is to evaluate the BSA from both an economical and a political perspective, which means performing hypothesis tests of whether cost-efficiency and equity respectively, were considered in the BSA settlement. Variables used to perform the equity tests are chosen on the basis of the Triptych study. However, the cost-efficiency test is made possible by first calculating marginal abatement costs from the directional output distance function, which is estimated on country production data for 1990-2000. The function is estimated using both corrected ordinary least squares and linear programming techniques. The main conclusion drawn from this study is that both efficiency and equity were considered important to the BSA.

Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-3763 (URN)
Note
This paper is published as: Marklund, Per-Olov and Eva Samakovlis, (2007), 'What is Driving the EU Burden-Sharing Agreement: Efficiency or Equity?', Journal of Environmental Management, Vol. 85, No. 2, pages 317-329, Elsevier Ltd Available from: 2004-02-25 Created: 2004-02-25 Last updated: 2009-11-20Bibliographically approved
4. Reuse or Burn?: Evaluating the Producer Responsibility of Waste Paper
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Reuse or Burn?: Evaluating the Producer Responsibility of Waste Paper
2003 In: Journal of Environmental Planning and Management, Vol. 46, no 3, 381-398 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-3764 (URN)
Available from: 2004-02-25 Created: 2004-02-25Bibliographically approved
5. On output of the Swedish education sector: Additional remarks
Open this publication in new window or tab >>On output of the Swedish education sector: Additional remarks
1999 (English)In: The Review of Income and Wealth, ISSN 0034-6586, E-ISSN 1475-4991, Vol. 45, no 4, 535-542 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The main purpose of this paper is to relate the empirical attempt of measuring output from the education sector to theoretical results about the welfare significance of an extended net national product (NNP) measure. We show that economic theory provides a more focused way of interpreting such output estimates, which has not been recognized in previous studies. The paper also contains new estimates of the output from the Swedish education sector.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
John Wiley & Sons, 1999
National Category
Economics
Research subject
Economics
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-3765 (URN)10.1111/j.1475-4991.1999.tb00365.x (DOI)
Note

Article first published online: 8 MAR 2005

The definitive version is available at www.blackwell-synergy.com

Available from: 2004-02-25 Created: 2004-02-25 Last updated: 2015-11-11Bibliographically approved

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